UCSB Hist 133C, Winter 2004
Germany since 1945

Prof. Marcuse
HSSB 4221, 893-2635

Hist 133c Final Exam Study Guide, 2004 (pdf print version)

The final exam will be a word-limited take-home, due in my office, 4221 HSSB, at the end of the regular exam time (Thu, March 18, 2004, 11am). The actual selection of items for the exam will be posted on the course web site on Wed., 3/17, ca. 10am. At noon that day hard copies will be available in the envelope outside my office door.
All answers must be typed. The exam is worth 15% of the final grade.

I. Identify and define the significance (3 @ 15 points each=45% of the exam grade)

On the final exam you will be given six of the following terms, from which you will select three. Your identification should include an approximate date, which should situate the event correctly in relation to other important events. Take special care to explain why the term is significant in the context of German history.

Auschwitz Trial
Grand Coalition
Prague Spring
Marshall Plan

Walter Ulbricht
June 17, 1953
Nuremberg Trials
October 7, 1989
Byrnes' 1946 Stuttgart speech

Spiegel Affair
Bitburg cemetery, May 1985
Willy Brandt
Leipzig Monday demonstrations
Erich Honecker
December 11, 1989

II. Essay question: You will have to answer one of the following questions. (55% of the exam)

  1. West Germany and East Germany each pursued different strategies for overcoming the legacies of dictatorship. Describe at least four programs or events from four different decades for each country (thus 8 total), and argue which country ultimately developed the most effective participatory democracy. Note that you will also have to define what you understand by "most effective participatory democracy."
  2. Heinrich Böll's novel Billiards at Half-Past Nine takes place in 1958. When the story ends Joseph (b. 1936) and Ruth (b. 1939) are both undecided about their future career paths. Describe facets of their personalities and experiences to construct an argument about how they will react to and participate in historical events from the 1960s to the 1990s (select 6 from at least 3 different decades). Consider how their individual values and experiences from their family histories might influence them. You should also make a case why they would not choose other options.
  3. We discussed various factors that came together to cause the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Drawing on both analytical descriptions of historical events and personal stories (such as those in "The Promise," Harald Wagner and Frank Eigenfeld's stories, etc.), argue which two factors were the most significant in toppling the Honecker government. Note that in order to do this you should also make a case why two or three other factors were less significant (refute counterarguments to you claim).

page by H. Marcuse, prepared for web March 11, 2004
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